Comparing Roller and Solar Shades

  • 2 min read

Hunter Douglas Designer Screen Shades with Greenscreen Sea-TexTM, responsible design, ethical design near Chicago, Illinois (IL)

With so many different window treatment options on the market, it’s essential to understand what makes each one unique, including the difference between roller and solar shades. They may seem the same, but roller and solar shades have their own unique characteristics.

Roller Shades

Featuring a simple and intuitive design, roller shades are a favorite in homes and businesses worldwide. Roller shades function very similarly to a roll of tape. When the shade is completely open, all the fabric is wrapped around an inner core. As you lower the shade, the fabric unrolls. Pair your new roller shade with a top treatment, such as a valance, to conceal the extra material.

Typically made from fabric, roller shades are available in hundreds of colors, patterns, and textures. This makes them a popular choice for anyone wanting to customize the look of their space. Whether you like neutral colors in soft textures or you want a colorful print that makes a large impact, you can find what you’re looking for in a roller shade.

Hunter Douglas Design StudioTM Roller Shades, solar shades from JC Licht near Chicago, Illinois (IL), midwest

Companies like Hunter Douglas even partner with well-known designers to offer exclusive fabric options! The Hunter Douglas Design Studio™ features custom prints from renowned artists like Seema Krish, Rebecca Atwood, and Marcie Bronkar.

Roller shades are typically made with a cord control, unlike the traditional string control found on most blinds. Dangling strings can be a hazard for young children and pets, making them a dangerous option for busy households. A continuous cord is a much safer option, as it is more difficult to get tangled in it.

Solar Shades

Solar shades work the same way as roller shades, which is why the two window treatments are often confused. The big difference lies in the fabric used and the purpose of each shade.

Whereas roller shades use opaque fabrics to block out the sun and create privacy, solar shades are made of sheer fabrics. Rather than providing complete privacy, solar shades help diffuse harsh sunlight and protect your furniture, home, and artwork from harmful UV rays.

Hunter Douglas Design StudioTM Roller Shades, solar shades from JC Licht near Chicago, Illinois (IL), midwest

Because they are sheer, solar shades are perfect for rooms that get the most use during the day and that don’t require complete privacy. Install them in the kitchen, living room, or office to safely enjoy the natural sunlight all day long!

Solar shades don’t need to be completely see-through, though. Designer banded shades, or zebra shades, feature stripes of sheer and opaque fabrics. If you’re unsure whether you want roller or solar shades, a zebra shade could be the perfect compromise!

Roller and Solar Shades at JC Licht

Visit one of our Chicago showrooms to see our vast collection of both roller and solar shades. Our experts are more than happy to answer your questions and help you make the right choice for your home and lifestyle!

With multiple locations across Chicagoland, we are ready to help you with your home improvement needs, including Benjamin Moore paints, Hunter Douglas window treatments, and more. You can count on JC Licht to Make it Happen! JC Licht is the preferred provider of roller shades, solar shades, and Hunter Douglas products for the Midwest and Chicagoland. Contact us today!


Already know what you need?